How do I Avoid Back Pain from Golf?

Robert Lee

Back pain from golf can stem from several issues, including using golf clubs that are incorrectly fitted, swinging clubs improperly or playing while dehydrated, which can cause fatigue over the entire body, including the back. Failing to stretch before playing may contribute to back pain as well. To avoid back pain from golf, you may do well to consult with a golf professional. The golf professional can evaluate your swing and point out flaws that may be contributing to your discomfort. Possibilities include swinging too hard or simply putting too much torque on the back as you turn through the golf swing. There may be other factors also, as lower back pain is a common ailment for amateur and professional golfers.

Not stretching properly before playing golf can result in back pain.
Not stretching properly before playing golf can result in back pain.

In addition to learning to swing clubs properly, you can avoid back pain from golf by spending 15 to 20 minutes stretching before every round or practice session. Simple stretching exercises, such as standing erect and slowly turning from side-to-side can help prepare the lower back for golf activity. It is especially helpful to turn to one side and hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds as you stretch the muscles in the lower back and along the spine. Then repeat by turning to the other side and holding for the same period of time.

Back pain is a common ailment for both amateur and professional golfers.
Back pain is a common ailment for both amateur and professional golfers.

Other stretches to help avoid back pain from golf include standing outside your golf cart and using one hand to brace yourself as you push against the cart. The same stretching exercises can also be helpful during the round. Stretching throughout a round of golf can help work out any kinks that build up along the way as well as keep the muscles warm and ready to move.

Playing golf every day can lead to overused back muscles, so an occassional day off will allow a person's body to recover.
Playing golf every day can lead to overused back muscles, so an occassional day off will allow a person's body to recover.

A physical conditioning program can also help you avoid pain while playing golf. Top professional golfers commonly work out regularly to avoid fatigue while playing. The overall strengthening of their bodies makes them less susceptible to back pain while playing golf as well. Losing a few pounds and engaging in aerobic exercises can help you achieve the proper fitness level for golf. This can be especially important for senior golfers, who naturally begin losing some flexibility in their backs as they become older. Giving your body a rest can be helpful as well. For example, playing golf every day and also practicing a great deal can lead to an overuse of your back muscles — and pain. Take a day off from time to time to allow your body to recover.

Using a golf cart to get from hole to hole can take away some of the strain of golfing.
Using a golf cart to get from hole to hole can take away some of the strain of golfing.

You also can avoid back pain in golf by playing from the proper distances on the golf course. All golf courses offer different sets of playing tees, with the tees closest to the golf green more suitable for players of lesser skills. Choosing tees closer to the golf green allows you to play from shorter distances, which can help you prevent over exerting yourself as you seek to avoid back pain while playing golf.

Some golfers who are prone to back pain hire caddies to carry their bag and clubs from hole to hole.
Some golfers who are prone to back pain hire caddies to carry their bag and clubs from hole to hole.

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